Dec 01 2011

Embracing the families of the Carmel disaster

Published by Editor at 11:26 am under Home Page, Press Releases, University News

“I consider this memorial at the University of Haifa a very praiseworthy initiative. It is no coincidence that the same institution that has been educating the security forces over the years, and that provided notable assistance to the security and rescue services during the fire on the Carmel, is the same institution to be memorializing the fallen now,” said Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovich at a memorial ceremony this morning for the 44 victims of the Carmel fire disaster.

At this special event at the University of Haifa, 44 students will be receiving scholarships, each one in memory of one of the victims of the disaster. The students have committed to keeping in touch with the family of the respective victim and to take an active role in perpetuating his or her memory. The scholarships have been made possible thanks to a generous donation from Chairman of the University’s Board of Governors, Mr. Leon H. Charney.

“During the fire, the University’s fate was bound with that of the victims’ families. On my way here I looked out on the view of the Carmel forest and saw how the green is now overcoming the blackened landscape and how homes are being rebuilt. I know though, that for you, the families, time will not lessen the pain,” said Aharonovich. As minister responsible for the fire services, he promised that “what happened will not happen again.”

The minister also gave notable mention of the assistance that the University provided during the course of the fire, when the central command for the security and rescue forces was set up on its campus. “The entire University staff, headed by its President, Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, mobilized to provide whatever help it could and made a very significant contribution to the efforts surrounding the disaster. At this opportunity, I want to thank you again for that,” said Aharonovich.

“The University of Haifa has a special relationship with the Carmel. We are situated in the heart of the Carmel Park and are proud of our location. Our social responsibility and caring for others is of utmost importance to us. We are dedicated to the rehabilitation of the Carmel Park and are taking an active role in the restorative efforts through our Mount Carmel Research Center. Our unique location enabled us to give assistance to the rescue forces and to lend a hand; and by doing so we also witnessed the work and sacrifice of all of the rescue teams. We thank each and every one of you for your determination and sacrifice, finally bringing an end to the awful fire,” said Prof. Ben-Ze’ev.

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